Finance Bill

The Finance Bill is a government bill intended to give lasting statutory effect to the tax measures announced in the March 2021 budget. The bill underwent a series of changes in its passage through the House of Commons. The House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee criticised a draft of the bill in some specific areas. The Government accepted some of the committee’s recommendations but rejected others.

Finance Bill
  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech: economic affairs, business and Covid-19 recovery

    Coronavirus vaccine programmes are improving the economic outlook, but rising cases in some countries are affecting global activity. This article discusses the outlook for key economic variables. It then summarises the Government’s policies for the economy as it recovers from the pandemic. Finally, it lists a number of possible bills or areas for legislation, related to the economy and business, which might feature in the Queen’s speech.

  • In Focus

    Biodiversity

    Declines in biodiversity could lead to economic and political instability and potentially threaten the survival of life on earth. The Government has taken a range of steps to counter biodiversity loss, although measures of success are mixed. The independent Dasgupta review has recommended placing monetary values on natural capital. Two forthcoming international conferences provide opportunities for further global initiatives on biodiversity.

  • In Focus

    Net zero and integrated policymaking

    In June 2019, the UK legislated to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which advises government on emissions targets, stated that the target “requires extensive changes across the economy”. To achieve this, the CCC and others have called for better coordination of net zero policies within central government, with local and devolved governments and with other public bodies.

  • In Focus

    Government investment programmes: the ‘green book’

    The Government’s ‘green book’ describes how major public sector investment projects are assessed. In March 2020, the Government announced a review of the approach, to improve how the green book supports strategic priorities such as its ‘levelling up’ agenda and the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The review’s conclusions were published in November 2020, followed by a revised green book in December 2020.

  • In Focus

    Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis: Uprating compensation payment rates

    Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis are diseases primarily affecting industrial and construction workers. Sufferers are eligible for government compensation schemes if they cannot claim civil damages against their employers. Two sets of regulations would increase the amounts payable by 0.5 percent from 1 April 2021, in line with inflation and the uprating being applied to other disability benefits.

  • In Focus

    UK Relations with the Pacific Alliance

    The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. In June 2019, the House of Lords International Relations Committee published a report calling for increased UK engagement with the bloc. The report is due to be debated in the House of Lords on 1 February 2021.

  • In Focus

    Regulation of coronavirus testing

    The current regulatory framework for coronavirus testing is complex. The Government believes this complexity disincentivises new private providers entering the market and has put forward proposals to replace it with a new system. This article looks at two draft regulations that would remove coronavirus testing from the existing regulatory structure and establish a new regime for private providers of commercial Covid-19 testing services.

  • In Focus

    Autumn 2020 spending review

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered a spending review statement on 25 November 2020. The Government said the review’s priorities were “to support the Government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery and deliver on promises to the British people”. Alongside the spending review, the Office for Budget Responsibility set out its latest forecasts for the economy and for the public finances.